Saturday, February 5, 2011


Neral-Matheran toy train

Matheran Railway Station

Matheran is a smallest Hill station of India. It is situated in Raigad district in Maharashtra.  It is located on the Western Ghat  range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located around 90 km from Mumbai, and 120 km from Pune. Matheran's proximity to the three Metros makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either "forest on top" or "mother forest".
Matheran is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. It is one of the few places in the world where vehicles are not allowed, which makes the place different from others. Matheran takes you over a hundred years back in time when there were no vehicles.Because of vehicles being banned in Matheran, the place is quite peaceful despite the thousands of visitors coming to visit throughout the year.There are lots of lookout points that provide spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Matheran has a reasonably dense forest cover.

There are around 38 designated look-out points in Matheran, including the Panorma Point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is breathtaking.

Matheran has been declared an ecosensitive region by the Union Environment Ministry and can be called a Health Sanatorium in itself. The only form of automobile allowed in Matheran is an ambulance operated by the Municipality. No private automobiles are allowed. Within Matheran transport facilities available are horses and hand-pulled  rickshaws.